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Sites and Situations
· The place where a settlement is built is known as it's SITE. Most sites in the UK are hundreds of
years old and were selected to suit the needs of those at the time.
Reasons for choosing a site:
· Spring - good water supply.
· Dry land to be built on ­ not marshy.
· Hilltop is easy to defend and away from flooding.
· Good farmland for food supply and sheltered valley.
· Good building materials: wood and stone. Wood also used for fuel.
· Lead mining ­ where resources can easily be exploited.
· Easy access to other settlements at a crossing point of river.
Situation
· The situation of a settlement is its position in relation to other towns or cities, route-ways (road
and rail) and physical features such as the coast, hills and mountains, or major rivers.…read more

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Dispersed or nucleated
Maps show that settlements in an area are often arranged in patterns:
Dispersed ­ Spread out e.g. In highland areas where population is sparse.
Nucleated ­ Clustered together around a central point on the map e.g. crossing point of a river.
Linear ­ Arranged in a line, often at the foot of hills, on the edge of a floodplain, or along a route way.
Settlement hierarchy
Geographers classify settlements in terms of size and the range of services they offer. This is known as the settlement
hierarchy.
· The size of settlements increases the higher up the hierarchy they are e.g. the small town is larger than the village,
and the conurbation is the largest type of settlement.
· The number of settlements decreases the higher up the hierarchy they are e.g. there is a much larger number of
villages and towns and very few conurbations.
· The number of services which settlements have increases the higher up the hierarchy they are e.g. a city will have
department stores and hospitals but a small town will not have these.
· A conurbation exists where one large city has grown to `swallow up' several surrounding towns or where several large
towns or cities have grown together to make one very large built-up area.…read more

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Have a full range of services and out-of-town Usually have a cathedral, a
superstores. full range of shops including
department stores, hospitals,
courts and administration
offices.
Have a wide range of
services including a
hospital, all the well known
high street shops and at
least one supermarket.
Provide a small range of
services, e.g. shops,
doctor, dentist, bank and
small supermarket.
Groups of houses with
a church, public house
and post office or shop.
Small group of
houses with no
services.
e.g. farms.…read more

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Functions of a settlement
· The function of a settlement is its purpose, for example a port, tourist resort, market town or
capital city. Industrial town
A place where goods are made
such as iron and steel, cars
and textiles or where resources
Market town are mined such as coal. Administrative centre
A central place where goods A place from which areas are
may be bought and sold and a governed ­ county towns or
regular market is held. capital cities.
Port Dormitory towns
A town where many inhabitants
Coastal town on a bay or Function of a work elsewhere, usually in a
estuary, importing and
exporting goods, or a fishing
settlement big city. They only come to the
port. town at weekends and to
sleep.
University town Retirement Town
Where the university A place where people move to
dominates the town. Holiday resort live on retirement e.g. coastal
Often developed from a small towns, particularly on southern
port, with a beach or attractive England, or areas of
scenery. outstanding beauty.…read more

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Case study
Padstow, North Cornwall
In the past
· A small fishing port and harbour.
· Ships from Padstow Harbour once sailed to
Scandinavia and Canada.
· The Camel River was once navigable for 12km
upriver, to Wadebridge.
· Padstow Harbour was a busy fishing port.
· Streets near the harbour had ship repair yards, sail
makers and markets.
· The railway took fish to markets in the big cities.
Today
· Mainly tourist resort.
· Pleasure craft outnumber fishing boats.
· Only small boats can reach Padstow because the
estuary is silted up.
· Dredgers take sand from the estuary for use in the
building trade.
· Sandy beaches and spectacular cliff walks attract
hundreds of tourists in the summer.
· The disused railway line is now a cycle trail.
· Gift shops and cafes crowd the streets near the
harbour.…read more

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